Over the past few years, pro-life conservatives have gotten bolder in their attempts to challenge Roe v. Wade. Some of the most blatant efforts have been the “heartbeat” bills introduced in several states (which would ban the procedure at around the six week mark—before many women even know they’re pregnant). And now, Alabama lawmakers are pushing for an even more draconian abortion ban.
NBC News reports that on April 2nd, Alabama introduced legislation that would make it a felony for doctors to perform abortions at any point in a pregnancy—even in cases of rape or incest. The only exception to this would be if the patient’s life is in danger. The bill’s main sponsor, state Representative Terri Collins, did not mince words about her intentions. She told AL.com that the bill “criminalizes abortion” and explicitly said that she hopes to challenge Roe v. Wade.
According to AL.com, 65 other members of the Alabama House of Representatives have signed on to co-sponsor Collins’ bill. With that level of support, the bill could pass in the House and move on to the state’s Senate.
Staci Fox, president of Planned Parenthood Southeast, told the Associated Press that Collins’ bill was a “death sentence for women across this state.”
Attempts to curtail abortion rights in other states have been struck down in recent months. According to the Associated Press, in January, an Iowa state court ruled that Iowa’s “heartbeat” bill was unconstitutional, preventing it from taking effect after Governor Kim Reynolds signed it into law. Meanwhile, in February, SCOTUS temporarily blocked a Louisiana law that would have left one doctor in the entire state able to perform abortions.
It’s possible, then, that this Alabama bill won’t make it to the Supreme Court. That said, this is the most restrictive abortion bill to be proposed so far, which makes us even more concerned about the future of reproductive rights. As always, if you live in Alabama and feel strongly about this bill, contact your elected officials to let them know.